Carbon Dioxide (CO2) Laser Skin Resurfacing revolutionised the art of skin rejuvenation when first introduced into Australia in 1993, and it is still one of the most effective methods of removing facial wrinkles and acne scars.
However, the early CO2 lasers were more aggressive than current fractional CO2 lasers because they were totally ablative i.e. they removed ALL the skin in the targeted area and whilst they were more effective in removing wrinkles and acne scars, they did carry a significant risk of permanent hypopigmentation (loss of skin colour) and scarring.
Today’s computerised Fraxel ‘Repair’ CO2 laser is a far cry from those early CO2 lasers. Being ‘Fractional’ means it produces thousands of microscopic laser columns into the skin whilst leaving intact skin between the columns to initiate the healing process. This reduces recovery time and dramatically reduces the risks of hypopigmentation and scarring.
Apart from removing wrinkles, sunspots and blemishes on the surface, the skin’s natural healing process also replaces the lasered columns in the deeper dermis with new and stronger collagen fibres to deliver more support to the skin.
The net result of all this is fresher, smoother and tighter skin with fewer wrinkles.
Apart from its use in skin rejuvenation, our Fraxel CO2 ‘Repair’ Laser is also capable of removing skin lesions and performing incisional procedures such as Laser Eyelid Surgery.
Our principal Cosmetic Surgeon, Dr George Mayson, was one of the first doctors in Australia to commence Laser Skin Resurfacing back in 1993 and has not seen a single case of scarring in any patient over all those years.
As a general rule, fine and medium wrinkles can be totally removed but deep wrinkles that reach deeper than the level of the resurfacing can only be made shallower. Nevertheless, the overall reduction in number and depth of wrinkles is quite dramatic.
Please note that deep facial grooves and furrows e.g. nasolabial grooves (‘smile lines’) or deep ‘frown lines’ cannot be removed by any resurfacing procedure and are more suited to other treatments such as Dermal Fillers and Anti-Wrinkle Injections.
2. Facial Sun-Damaged manifested by:
3. Acne Scarring
Some acne scar shapes respond better to Laser Resurfacing than others. Our doctor will assess your suitability at your initial consultation. Please note that if you have been taking Roaccutane for acne it is essential that you have been off it for 12 months before having Laser Skin Resurfacing.
4. Chronically Sun-Damaged Lips (Actinic Cheilitis)
This condition resembles ‘chapped’ lips and carries a risk of cancerous change if left untreated. Accordingly, it is important to treat this condition early before any cancerous changes develop.
5. Miscellaneous Skin Lesions including:
This depends on you, your lifestyle and future sun exposure. Generally, the more you avoid sun exposure and use effective UV protection when sun exposure is unavoidable, the longer the results of Laser Skin Resurfacing will last. With good UV protection, the results should last 5-10 years. As with other forms of skin resurfacing, the procedure can be repeated if and when desired.
Laser Skin Resurfacing is performed in the privacy of our own Clinic. To make your procedure as comfortable as possible, our usual routine is as follows:
You may go home 1-2 hours after your procedure but you cannot go home alone or drive for 24 hours if you have had Sedation.
Healing is usually complete within 9 days. Once fully healed, you can resume wearing make-up and return to work and social activities.
For the first 2-3 days, your lasered areas will have oozing and pin-point bleeding. Rest assured, both these appearances are completely normal. In fact, if you don’t have those appearances it means you have been under-treated! Some clinics intentionally under-treat in order to make the recovery period more attractive to prospective patients but doing so doesn’t deliver the maximum degrees of improvement!
After 2-3 days, the oozing and pin-point bleeding will stop and will be replaced with numerous fine scabs and small points of dried blood. Don’t be alarmed – this also is expected and totally normal. Just keep applying your Vaseline to allow these to fall off sooner but do not forcibly wipe them off or pick at them.
Once the face has fully cleared – usually by Day 9 – the skin will look pink like mild sunburn. This will fade over the ensuing weeks but, in the meantime, you can camouflage it with foundation and return to work and social activities.
During the first 3 months after Laser Skin Resurfacing, your skin could be more sensitive and if so, you may find it difficult to use your usual cosmetics. After three months, any such sensitivity should have settled and you should then be able to resume wearing all your usual cosmetics.
1. Experience: Our Dr Mayson was one of the first doctors in Australia to commence Laser Skin Resurfacing when it was first introduced in 1993.
2. Laser Qualifications: In 1998, Dr Mayson was the first Australian doctor to qualify as a Diplomate of the American Board of Laser Surgery after passing with one of the highest examination scores ever recorded.
3. Our Impressive Safety Record.
Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding, you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner.
Laser Skin Resurfacing is performed in the privacy of our own Clinic’s Theatre under either:
If your Resurfacing has not required any Sedation, you can go home immediately afterwards. However, if you’ve had Light Sedation, you can still go home shortly thereafter but you must have someone collect you. You cannot go home alone.
For the first 2-3 days, you will have some oozing and pin-point bleeding. These will then dry up and be replaced by small scabs. Regular applications of Vaseline are required until all these tiny scabs fall off – usually by the 9th day. Once all the small scabs have fallen off, your face will be slightly pink but at least you can then apply make-up and return to work and social activities. This redness usually settles within 6 weeks.
Downtime for most patients is 9 days. During this time, you will need to stay at home and apply Vaseline regularly. Once all the small scabs have fallen off, your face will be slightly red but at least then you can apply make-up and return to work and social activities. This redness usually disappears by 6 weeks.